Ohio University has dropped plans to purchase a $1.2 million house it has been leasing for the institution's president after learning that the home's owner promised donations as part of the deal, The Columbus Dispatch reports.
The university said neither President Roderick McDavis nor campus officials negotiating the purchase with John Wharton, an alumnus and Athens, Ohio, real-estate agent, were aware of the gift offer, made to the school's athletic department.
According to internal records released by the university, Mr. Wharton promised to finish paying a prior $100,000 pledge and make a new gift in the same amount as part of the property transaction. Campus officials said they did not believe a quid pro quo had occurred but decided to cancel the deal to avoid the appearance of impropriety. Mr. McDavis and his wife will continue to live at the leased home as the university assesses repairs to the on-campus presidential residence, which is infested with bats.